Every year on Mother’s Day, I would always think of the amazing things my mom did for me. Despite my anger towards her, I would still come up with the words like, ‘she gave me life,’ ‘she took care of me,’ ‘she cooked the best adobo,’ and many more. But this year, it’s different. If you are going to ask me ‘what is the greatest thing my mom has done for me?’ I could only come up with one.
“SHE ABANDONED ME.”
Seventeen years ago, my mom left. She was gone for almost a year. Nobody knew where she was nor any idea if she was dead or alive. No one knows. Even her husband and only child were clueless where she could have gone.
Then one day, she sent a text message. She said, she got a job in the next province and could not come back due to unpaid debt. So her forgiving husband, who was in Saudi Arabia that time sent money to help her out. She came back to pick up the money from her naive daughter. She promised her daughter that she would bring her along with her the next day when she goes back to pay her debt. The unsuspecting daughter was relieved and slept early that night. She was so excited about the most awaited trip. Little did she know, her mother would betray her. The mother left while her daughter was still asleep. It’s been 16 years since then, and she never came back.
That time she abandoned me completely.
That was when a realization struck me. It was like a lightning bolt. It was so fast that I could not dodge it.
My mom abandoned me.
My father was in Saudi Arabia.
I was 14.
I didn’t know how to fend for myself.
I was alone.
I hated her.
For 16 years, all I had was anger and hatred towards her. I could not believe that my mother would betray me. I still haven’t forgotten the pain I had felt back then. It was like my heart was torn into pieces. The dreams that we built together as a family before my father left for Saudi were shattered in front of me, and all I can do was watch. I couldn’t move. I did not have any idea how to move forward. Nobody taught me how.
Years had passed. My father moved on; and there I was, still wondering.
“what was her reason?”
“Did she really have a new family as everyone speculated?
” Was her new kids better than me?”
“What did I do to make her choose them?”
“Am I really her child?”
I had so many questions that remained unanswered. Though it was hopeless, I had prayed for my mom to come back to give me answers. I waited for her. I waited and waited, but she never came. She won’t be coming back. She has forgotten me already.
It’s time for me to move on; So, I went on a journey during these last few months. I traveled back in time and revisited the distant memory I had with my mom–13 years worth (since I was born). It seems ridiculous because there’s no way I would have a memory of the time I was born, but I did not want to throw away the marvelous memory I had shared with my mom. I might not remember being born, but my mom did. It was a memory that even if her mind forgets, her heart will always remember.
As I looked back to our memories together, I started to see things in a different light.
Before she left, I didn’t know nor do anything. Everything has been taken care of for me. My mom never asked me to do dishes, wash clothes, cook nor clean. She never asked me to do anything. She did everything for me without complaining or asking anything in return, and I had never thanked her for that. I took her for granted. She must have been hurt, and I hurt her unconsciously.
But was her being hurt good enough reason for her to abandon me? What about her supposedly unconditional love? Did she ever love me? If she did, then why abandon me?
My 13 years of memories with her and the 17 years of my life without her showed me clear answers to a question I had been asking all these years.
“What was her reason for abandoning me?”
“…because she is a MOTHER.”
A mother who loves unconditionally.
A mother who makes sacrifices.
A mother who will do anything to make sure her child is equipped with knowledge and abilities to survive in this cruel world.
She abandoned me because she is my mother.
If she had not abandoned me, I wouldn’t learn how to fend for my self and stand on my own.
If she had not abandoned me, I wouldn’t have to force myself to leave my comfort zone.
If she had not abandoned me, I wouldn’t dare to face the world.
If she had not abandoned me, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
If she had not abandoned me, I wouldn’t have everything I have now.
If she hadn’t abandoned me, I wouldn’t be who I am today – brave and strong.
If she hadn’t abandoned me, I wouldn’t realize how much she loves me.
If she hadn’t abandoned me, this post would be unwritten or written differently.
As I was typing this post, I couldn’t help but think; the word ‘mother’ is not only a word to define someone who has given birth to nor brought up a child. Mother is far more than a dictionary could define. Because as long as a mother’s love remains unconditional and eternal, nothing in this world could define her.
To my mom out there,
Thank you for abandoning me. I want you to know that I turned out well, and living a good life. Your absence made me a better person. Thank you for being my mother.
HAPPY MOTHER’s DAY to all the amazing moms out there!
What is the greatest thing your mom has done for you?